Peterborough to Ramsey:

Peterborough to Yaxley

Four walks:

The first four walks on the Trail take you from the Lincolnshire border at Peakirk to Peterbrough via Marholm and then on to Yaxley via Stangorund and Farcet.

1 Peakirk (Lincs border) to Marholm

2 Marholm to Peterborough

Planning underway. Contact us if you would like to help with these walks.

3 Peterborough to Stanground – due 2024

4 Stanground to Yaxley via Farcet – published

Download Walk Guide below

Walks 1 & 2 (1 & 2): Peakirk to Peterborough via Marholm

Planning underway – contact us if you would like to help plan these walks

The first walk starts on the Lincolnshire border near Peakirk and takes you south through Glinton and up onto the limestone ‘plateau’ to the north f Peterborough – famous as the ‘John Clare countryside’. With several nature reserves full of limestone grassland with its characteristic native flora, it also has attractive villages built of the local Jurassic limestone, including the famous Barnack limestone, also used for Peterborough and Ely Cathedrals.

This is a very interesting area for its geology and the walking route passes Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve and Local Geological Site, known for its exposure of Lincolnshire Limestone and also of the Tinwell-Marholm fault.

There are several ancient woodlands in the area, where the ash and maple trees grown well on the Jurassic limestones and clays. Approaching Peterborough, the second walk follows the River Nene passing flooded pits where the extensive gravels of the valley have been quarried. Now very good for wildlife, they and the riverside meadows provide an important ecological corridor to the west of the city used by many birds that travel across the fenland to the east, from the Wash. The walk ends at Peterborough Museum, an ideal finishing point where the displays of the internationally famous local fossils of huge Jurassic marine reptiles and fish can be seen. 

Walk 3 (3): Peterborough to Stanground

Walk Guide available soon

The route: ‘from the ‘sacred rock’ to the fenland Washes of the River Nene’

2 miles (3.3 km) or 5.5 miles (8.9 km) including the Nene Washes  Walking guide time 1hrs plus stops (or 3 hrs)

In partnership with Fenlandia

From the Cathedral city of Peterborough, this walk crosses the River Nene to follow the old course of the river along the fen edge to the village of Stanground. A longer walk can be taken along the Nene Washes to reach Stanground from the east. The walk starts at Peterborough Museum and ends at Stanground Lock.

After a fascinating journey through the historic city centre, including the rich cultural setting of the Cathedral, the walk takes you along and over the river to the fen edge finishing at an important point on the local waterway system.

Cambridgeshire is famous worldwide for its Jurassic fossils. Peterborough Museum is an ideal place to start exploring the history of life in the area as it has excellent examples of locally found Jurassic marine reptiles including Plesiosaurs, Pliosaurs and Ichthyosaurs, and also Leedsichthys, the largest fish known. It also has important archaeological displays tracing human life back to the Middle Palaeolithic (over 200,000 years ago).

Landscape and Geology

Peterborough lies on the north western edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens where harder rocks, including the limestones used for many of the important buildings in the area such as the Cathedral, form higher land. The river terraces of the River Nene also provide higher ground. The fenland peat reaches to the outskirts and the 5 metre contour extends along the river valley into the heart of the city. GeoPeterborough is our main partner in Peterborough. A Geology Trail around the city was developed by Stamford and District Geological Society some years ago – a shopping trip to Queensgate can be made much more interesting by finding the fossils in its floors and walls! Peterborough Geological and Palaeontological Group has been set up to promote the study of geology in the area.

Stanground church stands on slightly higher ground underlain by river terrace material (sands and gravels), surrounded by Oxford Clay. The church is built from Lincolnshire limestone with stronger-bedded limestone on the corners. The roof is a modern material that matches stone slates.

The location of the city is due to two factors – the Jurassic limestones that form a harder bedrock, and therefore higher land, on the edge of the lower lying fenland, and the River Nene which still runs through the centre of the city. The Fen Edge Trail leaves the city to the south, passing through Fletton and Stanground and then follows the old course of the River Nene, past Stanground Wash (a Wildlife Trust nature reserve that is part of the Nene Washes), along the base of a high ridge formed by glacial material left after retreat of the glaciers during the Pleistocene Ice Age. The Trail continues up onto the ridge to Farcet and Yaxley and the Fen View Heritage Centre in an old chapel in Farcet, from where there are excellent views to the south over the fenland. Prior to the final major drainage of the Fens in the 19th century, this was the area of the famous Whittlesey Mere, the second largest lake in southern England.

Walk 4 (4): Stanground to Yaxley via Farcet

DOWNLOAD WALK GUIDE

‘I love this part of the Fens, there is so much history here’

You really get the feeling of being on the fen edge’  

The route: ‘the ancient river, the high ridge and great fenland views’

7.3 miles (11.8 km) or shorter option 6 miles (9.8 km)   Walking guide time 3.5hrs plus stops (or 3 hrs shorter option)

In partnership with Fenlandia and the Great Fen Heritage Group

Having travelled through the historic city of Peterborough and past the Nene Washes to Stanground, the Trail now follows an ancient course of the Nene along the fen edge, keeping to about 5 metres above sea level for much of the way. It then turns ‘inland’ to travel uphill into the village of Farcet, situated on the high Stanground-Yaxley ridge, formed from material left by glaciers about 300,000 years ago during the ‘Ice Age’

 

 

Here, there are great views over the fens to the south including the large gravel island in Farcet Fen and the site of Whittlesea Mere, once probably the largest lake in lowland England. After returning to follow the edge of the low fen, the walk winds up through the village of Yaxley. The cultural and environmental interest of the area is significant, from the abundant natural resources of the fenland and the complex system of waterways to the influence of nearby religious centres and brickmaking on the Oxford Clay. Following the old course of the Nene along the distinct fen edge, this walk takes you through an historic landscape full of geological, ecological and cultural heritage.

Landscape and Geology

The fenland deposits, such as Peat and river Alluvium, reach approximately as far as where the land rises to 5 metres above sea level. In this area the 5m contour runs along the south-east edge of a high ridge formed by glacial gravels and other material (Till) left by Pleistocene (‘Ice Age’) glaciers and lakes. This higher land is where Stanground, Farcet and Yaxley are situated.

 

© Cambridgeshire Geological Society